Information on the characteristics of those affected by COVID-19 is important to track. This information can highlight disparities among groups. It also enables the City to direct resources to those most affected.
Race or ethnicity
COVID-19 has harmed communities of color more than other groups. This is a result of institutionalized racism and structural inequities. There is no biological or genetic difference in COVID-19 risk by race. In general, people of different races engage in the same prevention measures.
This dashboard shows a comparison of cases, deaths, and the San Francisco population. If all race or ethnicity groups were impacted at the same rate, the percent of cases or deaths would equal the population percentage. When a race or ethnicity group represents a higher percent of cases or deaths than the population, they are more affected.
We also use case rates to compare impact. Case rates are the number of cases per population. Comparing case rates across race and ethnicity groups highlights disparities.
Case rates for smaller populations are less reliable.
COVID-19 is dynamic and the spread of the virus in our community may change over time. Tracking the percent of new cases by race or ethnicity every month enables us to see changes.
Advancing racial equity is one of the City's core values. Read more on the San Francisco Office of Racial Equity’s webpage.
There has been an enormous effort to bring resources to the communities most harmed. Many of these efforts have been community-led. The City is proud to work alongside community partners in this work. For example, we:
Collaborate with the Latino Task Force
Partner with community on the City’s testing strategy
Support Black-owned businesses with access to financial capital and zero-interest loans
Partner with community organizations on vaccine access programs
Fund equity and neighborhood initiatives through our COVID Command Center
Cisgender men account for the highest percent of cases and deaths in San Francisco. This trend has been consistent throughout the pandemic.
Certain social factors that correlate with gender identity may contribute to COVID-19 risk. Learn more about this at the GenderSci Lab COVID Project.
Tracking COVID-19 cases among transgender and gender nonconforming residents is a top priority. These residents may be particularly vulnerable because of structural inequities and other factors. We continue to work to ensure that these residents have access to the testing, resources, and support they may need. Learn more about transgender community services.
Sexual orientation is missing for a large proportion of cases and deaths. Sexual minorities have faced stigma and discrimination, particularly in medical settings. As a result, they may be reluctant to share their sexual orientation in medical settings.
Heterosexual residents account for the majority of COVID-19 cases. Less than 10% of cases are among lesbian, gay, bisexual, queer, and other sexual minorities.
There are many overlapping factors that are important to consider for sexual minorities. For example, in San Francisco, gay and other men who have sex with men bear a disproportionate burden of the HIV epidemic. Living with HIV can result in immune suppression which is a risk factor for more severe COVID-19. Read more about this in a recent study. Learn more about COVID-19 impacts on sexual minorities.
The City and the State are committed to programs and supports for LGBTQIA residents. Read more about LGBTQ community services available during the pandemic.
People experiencing homelessness are vulnerable to COVID-19. The number of COVID-19 cases and deaths among this group has been relatively low in San Francisco.
Most San Francisco residents diagnosed with COVID-19 are between the ages of 25 and 50. The youngest age groups (those under 18) and the older age groups (over 60) have fewer cases.
The age distribution of COVID-19 deaths is much older. Over half of deaths were among persons over the age of 80 and nearly all are over the age of 60.
We also use case rates to compare impact. Case rates are the number of cases per population. Comparing case rates across age groups highlights disparities. Transitional aged youth (18-24) have some of the highest case rates in San Francisco.
We also track these trends by age over time as the situation evolves.
Data on the population characteristics of COVID-19 cases and deaths are from:
This data may not be immediately available for recently reported cases. Data updates as more information becomes available.
Cumulative totals on this page include all cases confirmed in San Francisco since testing began in late February 2020.
This data may undercount certain minorities. Residents who face stigma or discrimination in medical settings may not want to share some information. For example, stigma could result in a patient not sharing their gender identity. There are health inequities and barriers to healthcare for non-cisgender and non-heterosexual people. At this point we do not have enough data on COVID-19 to understand disparate impacts on these groups.
The spread and severity of COVID-19 is complex. It has affected residents based on overlapping layers of structural inequities. This means that there may be intersections of populations who are particularly affected. For example, essential workers in a specific age group of a specific ethnicity. For this reason, you should interpret this data in context. Individual conclusions should be treated with caution.